The biggest news affecting minor leaguers is that the Cubs named their AFL squad. The chose 3 position players...
#Cubs prospects named to Mesa Solar Sox AFL team: C Victor Caratini, 2B Ian Happ and OF Eloy Jimenez
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) August 31, 2016
And 4 pitchers...
#Cubs pitching prospects to play in AFL include RHPs James Farris, Ryan McNeil, Stephen Perakslis and Duane Underwood
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) August 31, 2016
Eloy Jimenez is a bit of a surprise, only because you don't see a lot of players below the Class A level get invited. Three factors worked in his favor: 1) He has had an outstanding season and is arguably the Cubs top prospect 2) He's a pretty polished hitter for his age, even though he doesn't walk much yet. 3) He has missed time with injuries and the AFL will give a chance to make up for some lost development time.
Ian Happ might be too advanced for this league but considering 2015 AFL'ers Willson Contreras and Jeimer Candelario were AA players, maybe it should not have been a surprise at all. The purpose for Happ is likely the same -- to try to fast track him to the big leagues.
Victor Caratini is the organization's new top catching prospect with Contreras in the minors. The switch-hitter has a good approach and a line drive bat. If he has weaknesses as a hitter, it's HR power, though he does have doubles power. On defense he is about an average receiver but needs to improve his throwing skills.
Duane Underwood is there to miss some much needed development. After starting the season on the DL, Underwood never really got on track, though his velocity improved to where he was touching the upper 90s this spring. His curve and change are effective pitchers but he was leaving them up far too often this season.
Ryan McNeil saw his fastball jump into the mid 90s this spring and he became the Pelican's closer midseason and then went on to save 21 games. He was healthy this season but has lost significant time to injury early in his career.
James Farris is one of the Cubs pleasant surprises. He's not overpowering but his low 90s FB has plenty of movement, as do his secondary pitches.
Steve Perakslis is another power arm who can reach the mid 90s. He went back and forth between starting and relieving this year so it will be interesting to see what role he will have in Mesa.
Ok now...on with the recaps...
Jordan Pries had his best outing since joining the Cubs organization. He pitched 7 innings and allowed just a solo HR and 3 hits overall. He did not walk a batter and struck out 7.
- Not that he needed it, but Pries got plenty of offensive support, including a 4 hit for likely September call-up
Albert Almora. Almora also scored 3 runs and drove in another. He is hitting .309/.323/.421 in his first AAA season -- solid but he could still add some patience and a bit more pop. It will be interesting to see if the Cubs think he's ready to take over in CF, but Dexter Fowler been such an important part of the offense that it makes you wonder if the Cubs might consider keeping him on.
John Andreoli went 2 for 5 with a run, RBI, and his 36th steal of the season.
Bijan Rademacher has now had 20 games at Iowa and the numbers are beginning to look familiar. He got on base 4 times (double, single, 2 walks) while scoring 3 times and driving in a run. He is hitting .277/.347/.385.
Matt Murton drove in 3 runs. He went 2 for 4.
Jeimer Candelario just keeps hitting. He had 3 singles in 5 PAs while scoring a run and driving in one.
- Utility infielder
Kris Negron went 2 for 5 and hit a solo HR, his 9th of the year.
Jonathan Martinez is getting a late season cup of coffee in AA after spending the last two years at Myrtle Beach. He had mixed results, striking out a surprisingly high 8 batters in 5 IP, but he also fell victim to the long ball -- as does sometimes happen to the flyball pitcher. He gave up 3 runs in all, but he pitched well enough to get the win.
- It got a little too close for comfort late in the game, but
James Farris came in and slammed the door shut with 2 perfect innings to earn his 5th AA save and 13th overall. He struck out 2 and lowered his AA ERA to 2,88 (2.63 overall).
Chesny Young's pursuit of .300 got a nice boost with a 3 for 5 day that left him at .298. He doubled, scored, and drove in 2 runs.
Ian Happ doubled twice while also scoring and driving in a run.
Preston Morrison keeps right on Hendricks-ing his way through the lower levels. I am not saying that he's Hendricks, but he does succeed with a mid to high 80s FB, good control, and excellent movement on his pitches. He walked 2 and struck out 9 in 6 IP to lower his ERA to 1.77 with the Pelicans over 35.2 IP. His control hasn't been quite as sharp, but it is still very good at 2.5 walks per 9 IP. His K rate is at 9.3/9 IP and he has a nearly 2 to 1 GO/AO ratio, That's a pretty good recipe for success.
Tommy Nance has been impressive in his first full pro season but he stumbled today, walking 2 batters and allowing all 3 runs in 2.1 innings to take the loss. He fell to 2-1 with an even 3.00 ERA with the Pelicans.
- Not much offense today. David Bote doubled and walked in 4 plate appearances.
Oscar De La Cruz was not his dominant self but still kept his team lose. He allowed all 3 runs while walking 2 and striking out 3 in 5 innings. He fell to 1-2 with a 3.25 ERA.
Mark Malave got the late season bump to South Bend and pitched a scoreless inning in his debut. The stout RHP throw about 92-94 with a solid CB as his secondary pitch.
PJ Higgins went 2 for 4 and knocked in SB's only run.
Andrew Monasterio went 2 for 4.
Manuel Rondon continues to get oustanding results and with Justin Steele and Carson Sands having down years, he and former teammate Jose Paulino (now at South Bend) have put themselves in the discussion when it comes to the Cubs top LH prospects. Rondon struck out 7 and walked 3 while allowing just 3 hits in 5 scoreless innings. He has a 1.10 ERA to go with a 6-1 record at Eugene. He's walked 19 and struck out 42 in 52.1 IP.
- Apart from 2 unearned runs allowed by Andin Diaz, the bullpen held the fort.
Marc Huberman pitched 2 no-hit scoreless innings with 3 Ks, though he did walk 3 batters.
Chad Hockin also had a strong showing, perhaps his best as a member of the Emeralds. He pitched 2 scoreless innings and struck out 3.
Jed Carter got the win with one inning of work, retiring all 3 batters in the top of the 12th, two via strikeout.
Yelier Peguero (2 for 5) was the hero as he got the walk off RBI with a sac fly to RF. He drove in
Jose Gonzalez (2 for 5) who singled and eventually advanced to 3B before Peguero knocked him home.
Filed under: Daily Cubs Minors Recap
Source : http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2016/09/daily-cubs-minors-recap-underwood-jimenez-happ-and-caratini-named-to-afl-squad/1536